By: hamtastic, Erik Friborg
Oct 19 2009 9:26pm
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Okay!  As promised, here are more UI screens and details for you all, since I know you're all interested in more information, and who can blame you!

Click the link for the screens!

Here's what they're working on, and the order in which they're approaching it.  For those curious about why we haven't seen the navigation system, or clans, or whatnot... it's because we're not there yet.  However the duel scene is one of the biggest UI pieces to finish, so being so far along with it is a good thing for the overall roadmap of the client.

The next two items are really cool slides that illustrate not only how much work went in to figuring out the focus of a typical user, but how they use the system while shifting focus.  This will, possibly, allow them to adjust the program to the play skill of the user involved.  While not available on launch, that's a pretty nifty metric to know and use.


Without giving away TOO much of my interview with Adriana, I will say that Silverlight is very likely to remain the technology used going forward.  Unless something major happens to change that between now and the hopeful release next year.  And yes, that last bullet is correct.  As you'd no longer need to have a 'local client' you would also not need all those big, bulky local updates as well.  The jury is still out about handling card image storage.  Either on the server or local... they're not sure which is the best performance/size trade off yet.  I'll pass along details as I learn them, of course. 


As I mentioned previously, both the left and the right sides can be minimized to make way for as much battlefield as possible.  Also, the battlefield can be "zoomed out" as you outgrow the default sizes.  Notice the phase indicator in the bottom left, the stack and mana pools are only visible as needed.


In the following shot you can see the different types of 'focus' that are available for cards.  Each focus type has a different color and/or style.  The Associated/Associated source are very neat as they tie the items together... no. more. arrows!!!  You know, those twelve stacked arrows that overlap and get in the way?  Yeah, enough of that! I will have a video up, sometime this week I hope, of the differences in action.  A lot was 'borrowed' from the Duels of the Planeswalker UI prompts which are quite nice and have been very well received so far.

And last but not least, some hearty testers banging away at the UI:


Excellent recon, more please! by speg (not verified) at Mon, 10/19/2009 - 22:31
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Excellent recon, more please!

Fully in the browser with no by Paul Leicht at Mon, 10/19/2009 - 22:37
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Fully in the browser with no client to download?? Wow! Amazing info Hammy thanks for getting the scoop!

ok but is info like our decks by ShardFenix at Tue, 10/20/2009 - 00:28
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ok but is info like our decks and collection also to be stored online? not sure if i trust that part of it...

Love the huge monitors, but I by JMason (not verified) at Tue, 10/20/2009 - 04:58
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Love the huge monitors, but I hope someone is testing on a laptop size screen too, because that's what I got.

Im a bit concerned, we have by LJ Roos (not verified) at Tue, 10/20/2009 - 06:12
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Im a bit concerned, we have tight bandwidth constrictions here in South Africa, like 2-3 gig caps per month, if playing through the browser, wont it consume alot more bandwidth?

I played with it on a by hamtastic at Tue, 10/20/2009 - 06:40
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I played with it on a smallish laptop screen while the test site was live. It scaled beautifully!

Hey Hamtastic :) dude did by LJ Roos (not verified) at Tue, 10/20/2009 - 07:27
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Hey Hamtastic :) dude did they give out any info as to what data may reside on the client's side? Seriously if this is going to consume as much bandwidth as I think it is, im out of MTG! :(

My first thought on by kharmin (not verified) at Tue, 10/20/2009 - 07:30
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My first thought on browser-based is concern for programming tricks that savvy people could implement to affect outcomes or whatnot.

The application is built on by Trick (not verified) at Tue, 10/20/2009 - 07:59
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The application is built on Silverlight, so while it runs in the browser, it installs like an Adobe Air application and in doing so gains access to the hard drive to store your information. It will store decks and such locally. I got this from Ryan Dhuse, one of the developers.

Also it will cache the images locally, though they aren't sure if you will need to do the updates to download them all beforehand, or if it can be cached after the first time you need to download it.

If you want to see screenshots of the new interface:


Well thats not too bad then, by LJ Roos (not verified) at Tue, 10/20/2009 - 08:03
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Well thats not too bad then, so what you are saying is that the data usage will gradually decrease the more you play, as things get cached?

Some good news at least, phew.